Uganda declares the end of the Ebola virus epidemic — Global issues
Infections have occurred in the major cities of Kampala and Jinja, raising fears that the disease could persist into 2023. In 2019, Uganda experienced an outbreak of the Zaire strain. Ebola.
The head of the United Nations health agency, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, congratulated authorities for their “strong” response to the outbreak, less than four months after the first case. Ebola virus infection in Sudan is confirmed, in the central district of Mubende.
“Uganda has shown that Ebola can be defeated when the whole system works together, from having an alert system in place, to finding and caring for affected people and their contacts, to engaging affected communities fully in the process response,” said Tedros.
In total, 55 people have died and 87 have recovered in the latest outbreak, according to WHORegional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, noted that There is no vaccine to treat the Sudan strain.
“This has been one of the most challenging Ebola outbreaks in the last five years,” said Dr. “But Uganda went ahead and continuously adjusted its response.
“Two months ago, it looked like Ebola would cast a shadow over the country until 2023… this victory begins the year with a hopeful mark for Africa.”
‘Magic Bullet’: Community Participation
The virus is transmitted to humans from wild animals and can be spread through direct contact with the blood of an infected person or other body fluids. Symptoms of Ebola – formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever – include fever and vomiting, accompanied by internal and external bleeding.
To prevent further spread of the virus – this is the first time the country has encountered Ebola virus in Sudan in a decade – WHO worked with national health teams to explain the threat. for those at risk and the need to restrict movement in the infection hotspots of Mubende and Kasanda.
“While we have expanded our efforts to put in place a robust response in the nine impacted counties, The magic bullet is our community who understand the importance of doing what’s needed Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng Acero, Uganda’s Minister of Health said.
WHO also helps track more than 4,000 people who have been in contact with people infected with the Ebola virus. Once identified, these contacts were followed up for 21 days, before being explicitly notified.
The last patient was discharged on November 30 when the 42-day countdown to the end of the outbreak began, according to the WHO, noting that the mortality rate in this outbreak was 47%.
Share the burden
The UN health agency provided almost S$6.5 million for the initial response and an additional $3 million for ready support in six neighboring countries.
Practical support from WHO includes deploying experts, providing training in contact tracing, testing and patient care, as well as building treatment and isolation centers and providing kits. laboratory test instrument.
Thanks to these joint efforts, “processing time for Ebola samples reduced from several days to 6 hours”, the WHO said, adding that it has helped protect frontline health workers by providing a steady supply of personal protective equipment.
Prepare for the next outbreak
WHO also includes working with partners including vaccine developers, researchers, funders and Ugandan health authorities, to identify candidate vaccines and treatments to put to the test.
Three experimental vaccines have been identified and more than 5,000 doses arrived in Uganda in record time last month79 days after the outbreak was declared.
Although no vaccine has been deployed this time, the UN agency insists that it responds quickly to the health threat “marks a major milestone in global capacity to respond to rapidly evolving outbreaks and prevent them from getting bigger.”
The Ebola virus in Sudan is one of six strains for which there is no approved treatment or vaccine. To overcome this shortcoming, WHO explained that Uganda was able to use its long experience in disease response and “Rapidly enhance critical areas of response“.